FDA approves new Duchenne's muscular dystrophy drug

Marathon Pharmaceuticals earned approval from the Food and Drug Administration for its drug Emflaza.

Emflaza is intended to treat Duchenne's muscular dystrophy, a rare degenerative condition that causes muscle weakness, loss of movement and eventually death.

The drug represents the first corticosteroid approved as a treatment for DMD and the second FDA-approved treatment overall behind Sarepta Therapeutics' Exondys 51, which was approved in September.

Northbrook, Ill.-based Marathon Pharmaceuticals earned a fast track designation and priority review status for the drug, both of which accelerate the FDA's review process to bring drugs to the market faster. Emflaza also earned an orphan drug designation, which offers drugmakers incentives to assist and encourage the development of rare disease treatments.

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